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Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Morning Headlines

Warner Bros. Leases Space in Burbank

Warner Bros. Inc. will lease the entire second phase of an office complex now under construction in Burbank’s Media District, officials said Tuesday. Terms with Santa Monica-based M. David Paul & Associates, which is building the Pinnacle complex on Olive Avenue, were not announced, but the Web site Rentv.com said Warner Bros. will pay $100 million over the course of 15 years. The first building in the Pinnacle complex is finished and 90 percent leased, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Warner Bros.’ entertainment division will occupy the six-story, 220,000-square-foot building that is expected to be completed in November.

Senator Shelves Port Container Fee Bill

Facing a certain veto, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal on Tuesday withdrew legislation that would have imposed a $30-per-container fee to fight smog, improve transportation and increase security at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Daily Breeze reported. The measure will take its place on the shelf along with the rest of the Long Beach Democrat’s package of reforms that targeted the ports. Lowenthal said the setback is only temporary while he negotiates a deal between the ports, retailers and shippers on the container fee. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration has balked, preferring to sit tight until after a goods movement study is completed.

Council to Decide on DWP Pact

The Los Angeles City Council will decide whether to give Department of Water and Power workers salary increases of at least 17 percent over five years, after the agency’s board voted Tuesday to approve the new contract and send it to the council for final action. The contract was narrowly OK’d on a 3-1 vote, the Los Angeles Times reported. The board was under pressure Tuesday to act after the leader of the DWP union warned of a possible strike if the contract is not in place by Oct. 1. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called on the board Monday to move the contract to the council so a decision could be made by the city’s elected officials.

Politicians Say 424 Overlay Based on Old Study

A state agency has failed to count remaining telephone numbers in the 310 area code and implement additional available conservation measures, a coalition of South Bay officials has charged. And if the California Public Utilities Commission approves a 424 overlay tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25, it will violate a state law, the officials argue. The law requires the commission to “perform a telephone utilization study and implement all reasonable telephone number conservation measures.” The last such study was done five years ago, when state officials discovered telecommunications companies were hoarding 3 million unused numbers in the 310 area code, the Daily Breeze reported.

Hollywood’s New Backlot? The U.S.

Over the last two decades, scores of movies have left town in search of the cheapest labor, weakest currencies and best financial incentives. At first, producers fled to Canada, Australia, England and Eastern Europe. But the hottest front in the production wars is closer to home, as California competes with almost every state. Thanks to an array of tax incentives offered from Rhode Island to New Mexico, screenwriters are recasting their plots to accommodate new locales and producers are learning new math to stretch budgets. The “Hollywoodization” of America has turned into an industry that generates $9.3 billion in American salaries each year. The profusion of incentives across the country has created a challenge for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who must now convince lawmakers and taxpayers that Hollywood needs a financial handout.


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